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Re: What's a good isolating language to look at

From:John Quijada <jq_ithkuil@...>
Date:Friday, December 9, 2005, 5:48
Jim Henry wrote:
>I checked the gjâ-zym-byn version of the Babel text >(not on my web site yet; I finished the second draft >translation awhile ago, but got busy with other things >before I had time to do an interlinear gloss). It has 208 words >and 359 morphemes*, so an index of synthesis of 1.726. >Like many engelangs** it's purely agglutinative; I don't have to >count to see that the agglutinativity index is 1.0.
>[**] - Or all engelangs? Ithkuil may be partly >fusional, but I haven't studied it in over a year >so I may be misremembering. I can't >think of any others that aren't agglutinating >or isolating. >=========================================================================
Ithkuil morpho-phonology is high fusional. I have a question, though. Do you count zero-marked (i.e., unmarked) morphemes in a word when measuring the synthetis/agglutinativity index of a language? For example, Ithkuil verbs mandatorily inflect for 17 morphological categories, however, any given actual verb form is likely to have up to a dozen or more of these 17 categories manifested as morphologically unmarked "default" values, analogous to the German nominative case being zero-marked. Do such zero-marked default morpheme-values get included when counting morphemes for purposes of determining the synthesis/agglutinativity index?